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Next Generation Thinking with Enterprise Systems

Robert Burdwell - Sunday, August 06, 2017

Enterprise systems, or large-scale applications designed to support business processes and information flow for very large organizations, are what keeps a company's heart beating today. Management can make informed decisions than before thanks to the sophisticated analytics that modern enterprise systems can produce and information can flow more efficiently. While so many aspects of running an enterprise require a human touch, the development of tomorrow's enterprise systems is being fueled by next generation thinking.

The way that businesses interact with customers, employees, and other stakeholders is going to drastically change as a result. Here's what we can expect to see in the coming years.


Customer experience is going to be the top priority in enterprise system design.

Customers today have several choices. They can also read about experiences other people have had with a business online. Customer retention and offering an out-of-this-world customer experience are at the forefront of next generation thinking for system design. How have customers been frustrated with their experiences? How has management tried to mitigate these problems? Everything from advanced telephony that can predict customer temperament to ultra-personalized shopping experiences are how customers are having their expectations blown today. Tomorrow, they need to be thoroughly wowed to be retained.

Robotic process automation (RPA) is going to be an integral component of enterprise systems, particularly for functions prone to human error.

The ease of information flow is one of the most critical aspects of an enterprise system. But the information is only as good as what's provided and robotics are picking up the slack where humans have been bound to make mistakes. RPA is taking over several accounting functions that used to require a human bookkeeper or accounting clerk because aside from the cost savings, the robotic application doesn't make any errors in transposing numbers or entering transactions. It is also not faced with the moral quandary of misreporting or purposely omitting a transaction. In addition to accounting functions, RPA is also taking on aspects of customer service such as being able to speak to customers in their native language.

User-centric websites are going to set the standard for systems of engagement.

Customers like the feeling that they're in control of a situation whether it's a simple transaction like buying a pair of jeans or a more difficult endeavor like buying a house. In looking to Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, and so forth these sites all have one thing in common: they give the user a sense of control over an immersive experience where they're interconnected as vastly or to as few people as they desire.

These sites are setting an example for B2C applications and processes, particularly in organizations with multiple channels like retail and finance. By starting with customer data that is used across different touchpoints and is immediately available, it creates a more cohesive picture of the customer to work with that will create a major competitive advantage. Customer-facing business processes can become far more efficient and personalized based on what is simple enough to find out about the customer through interfaces similar to their favorite user-centric websites.

Smart use of AI and analytics are turning systems more forward-looking.

Traditionally, standardized business processes also resulted in standardized historical data to analyze. While historical data is useful, it doesn't provide as much insight as real-time analytics or using AI and predictive analytics with these new sets of data. This has made older enterprise systems less forward-looking as a result. Today's enterprise systems will take the present and future into account by utilizing a simplified system of intelligence that provides up-to-the-minute information on pricing, inventory levels, customer satisfaction, and other measurable metrics.


Next generation enterprise systems don't necessarily replace the systems currently in use, but build on them with the current business and consumer environments in mind to improve processes for all parties involved. Tomorrow's systems will zero in on customer experience.

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